Monday, January 28, 2019
Mayor Elorza to Induct Three Community Leaders into MLK Hall of Fame
Providence Police Detective Anthony Roberson, late community activist Laura Rodriguez, and life coach and motivational speaker Shawndell Burney-Speaks will be recognized for carrying on legacy of MLK
PROVIDENCE, R.I.- Mayor Jorge O. Elorza will join City Council representatives, community members and faith leaders on Thursday, January 31 at 5:30pm to induct Anthony Roberson, Laura Rodriguez, and Shawndell Burney-Speaks into the City’s Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held in the City Council Chambers at City Hall, marking the 16th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Hall of Fame Awards.
“We’re proud to honor leaders who have spread kindness throughout our city, helping to create more inclusive and thriving communities,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “These individuals embody the teachings of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King that we commemorate with this ceremony. I congratulate and thank this year’s inductees for their service.”
The MLK Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who carry on the legacy of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. within the community. Inductees have made substantial contributions to acceptance, social justice, civil rights and equity in the City of Providence.
Providence Police Detective Anthony Roberson has served numerous communities within Providence; advocating for social justice and civil rights through board memberships, community-lead initiatives, and volunteering capacities. He previously served as a member of the Providence Police Department Neighborhood Response Team and as a board member for the Sojourner House. Det. Roberson has also spearheaded various local programs such as the Handshake Initiative, the Summer Safety Initiative, and Shop with a Cop, building vital connections between the community and the Providence police force.
The late Laura Rodriguez was known affectionately as the “Mayor of South Providence” and a champion of the city’s most vulnerable communities. She passed away on December 25, 2018 leaving a much admired and respected legacy of public service. In her time in Providence, Laura organized union workers; advocated for higher quality of life in South Providence, Elmwood and the West End, opened a small business, and organized a youth leadership group that empowered many throughout the years. Rodriguez also established the Community Angels program, bringing thousands of toys, food and winter clothing to children in need in the city.
Shawndell Burney- Speaks is a widely respected certified life coach, motivational speaker and community advocate. Through numerous partnerships with local faith communities and community organizations she has been a strong advocate for gun-violence prevention. Burney-Speaks has helped organize Corporate Prayer for Rhode Island to Massachusetts; assisted to launch local mentorship programs for at-risk youth; all while passionately advocating for programs and policies that will bring about positive changes.
WHO: Mayor Jorge O. Elorza; City Council Members; Providence Police Detective Anthony Roberson;
Family and Friends of Late Community Activist Laura Rodriguez; Shawndell Burney-Speaks
WHAT: 16th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Hall of Fame Awards
WHEN: Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 5:30pm
WHERE: Providence City Hall, City Council Chambers, Third Floor, 25 Dorrance Street